This is what we’re up against, folks: American judges expressing a pronounced political take on a criminal case before them.
Doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in the system, does it?
A judge from Maryland did that very thing recently when, just before pronouncing sentence on an illegal immigrant convicted by the court of fleeing the scene of a deadly auto accident, she expressed her understanding of why defendant Martin Martinez-Ballinas felt compelled to take off.
Back on February 24, Martinez-Ballinas left the scene of an accident in which Marine Lance Corporal James Ray Ealden III was killed. Walden was riding his motorcycle at the time, and evidence presented during the trial showed Martinez-Ballinas was speeding in his BMW 335i when he lost control and struck the young Marine. The defendant fled the scene and was later found by police hiding in a quarry.
As reported by the Capital Gazette, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Laura Kiessling said from the bench that she had received many letters about the case that noted the “current political climate” wherein President Trump has been “harshly critical of illegal immigration and of Mexico in particular.”
Kiessling said that it is “reasonable to conclude” that Martinez-Ballinas would flee because he was afraid that he’d be deported.
For his crime, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Martinez-Ballinas was sentenced by the judge to six years.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large